Acne – Ten Facts You May Wish To Know About It

Here are ten facts you may not know about this skin disease.

o Most individuals with acne do not have excessive androgens but their sebaceous glands may be more sensitive to the actions of androgens.

o It is characterized by a variety of clinical skin lesions. These lesions may be either inflammatory or non-inflammatory papules or nodules. The non-inflammatory papules are called ‘comedones’ and these may be either open (blackheads) or closed (whiteheads). Closed comedones are the precursors of papules, pustules, and large inflammatory nodules.

o Propionibacterium acnes are the bacteria that cause acne. It is the breakdown of fat by these bacteria that leads to the formation of comedones.

o It is a self-limited disorder and primarily affects teenagers and young adults, although about 10 to 20% of adults may continue to experience some form of the disease.

o Most disease remains mild and does not lead to scarring but a few sufferers may develop large inflammatory cysts and nodules, which may rupture and result in significant scarring.

o Friction and trauma may rupture preexisting small comedones and trigger inflammatory acne lesions. This is commonly seen with headbands or chin straps of athletic helmets.

o Application of any form of chemical found in cosmetics, hair products or industrial compounds that are comedogenic may elicit or worsen acne.

o Steroids applied on skin or given systemically in high doses may also cause acne. Medications such as lithium, isoniazid, halogens, phenytoin, and phenobarbital may produce or worsen acne.

o Dispel some of the myths about acne- it is NOT due to lack of washing, eating sweets/chocolate, etc.

o Treatment of acne should be directed towards elimination of comedones by normalization of follicular keratinization, decreasing sebaceous gland activity, decreasing the population of Propionibacterium acnes, and decreasing inflammation.

Source by Maduka Ogwueleka

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